Afshin Marashi, the Farzaneh Family Professor of Modern Iranian History at the University of Oklahoma (USA), where he also serves as the director of the Center for Iranian Studies, has authored his latest book titled, ‘Exile and the Nation: The Parsi Community of India and the Making of Modern Iran’, which will be published on the 8th of June, 2020 by the University of Texas Press. Connecting oft-disparate fields, this book explores the Zoroastrian diaspora living in India and its role in using antiquity to bolster twentieth-century Iranian nationalism.
“In the aftermath of the seventh-century Islamic conquest of Iran, Zoroastrians departed for India. ‘Exile and the Nation’ addresses this group, who came to be known as the Parsis, which slowly lost contact with their ancestral land, until the nineteenth century – when steam-powered sea travel, the increased circulation of Zoroastrian-themed books, and the philanthropic efforts of Parsi benefactors – sparked a new era of interaction between the two groups. Tracing the cultural and intellectual exchange between Iranian nationalists and the Parsi community during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, ‘Exile and the Nation’ shows how this interchange led to the collective reimagining of Parsi and Iranian national identity – and the influence of antiquity on modern Iranian nationalism, which previously rested solely on European forms of thought,” shares Dr. Laura Fish, Publishing Fellow, University of Texas Press (Austin, Texas).
Author Afshin Marashi’s previous work includes ‘Nationalizing Iran: Culture, Power, and the State, 1870-1940’ (University of Washington, 2008), and a co-edited volume titled ‘Rethinking Iranian Nationalism and Modernity’ (University of Texas, 2014). Other publications have appeared in IJMES (International Journal of Middle East Studies), Iranian Studies, the Journal of Persianate Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and Iran-Nameh. He has also served on the editorial board of IJMES and on the council of the Association for Iranian Studies.